I have a feeling this is going to be an evergreen topic.
Right now I’m holding off on re-launching my blog. Maybe you’re in the same boat – you had big plans for this year, you want to blog more often, you might even have a backlog of posts that haven’t gone out yet. Why? Because if you’re like me, perhaps you’ve noticed that things have gotten quieter on the pieces you do post – or that your entire Facebook stream is like one never-ending dumpster fire.
So what should you do? How do you navigate a world where the entire news cycle – and everyone’s attention – is consumed by latest White House missive? How do we blog in the age of Trump?
I am navigating this for myself, so here are some things I’ve decided to do plus feedback from other bloggers on their best approach:
Everyone loves a distraction. It is okay to continue blogging about something joyfully uncomplicated. As long as your posts steer clear of obvious political pitfalls, then you should be okay. For example: how to plan your family’s vacation (great), how to travel carefree in Iran (tone-deaf). Keeping your blog and social media free of political chatter can be a welcome respite for your audience who may be bombarded with emotional political appeals elsewhere.
There’s no harm in taking a pause. If you feel like your big launch would be dampened by the current news cycle, it’s okay to wait. If you think 2-3 posts a week is too much, just write less. If you’ve been kind of itching for a break anyway, this is the perfect time to take it. Enjoy it! Read some books. Relax. The great thing is that no one is going to notice.
Not sure what to write? Be useful. If you’re trying to figure out how to write your blog without coming off superficial or detached from current events and you don’t want to take a break, this is a good time to focus on evergreen content. That’s your bread and butter as a blogger anyway and these useful, never-aging posts are always appreciated. Go back to basics. Think of your topic with the beginner in mind. What essential guides would you give them? Write those.
Ask your audience. Most likely they will assure you that yes, indeed, they want your content, so keep it coming. But they might surprise you too. I read Adventurous Kate’s FB post about this topic and there was a wide variety of answers. It’s worth checking out here.
Match the energy level. If you feel compelled to write about politics, do it. If not, don’t. There are a number of big-name writers out there who have jumped into the political fray in recent weeks and I find it refreshing to see their passion and engagement. However, on the other hand, there is nothing worse than someone who half-heartedly or cynically tries to write a post addressing the current politics because they think that might go viral. Have heart, write your guts out or don’t do it all.
As for me? I’m holding my relaunch for another week or two, waiting to see how things go. Meanwhile, I’m writing, putting things into the vault and taking some time off. I have no idea what the next four years will look like, but eventually I will have to dive back in and figure out how to continue being a writer.